I think I just saw the most beautiful notebook at Computex this year. Although it went unannounced in ASUS' Computex 2013 press conference, the Zenbook Infinity garnered a lot of attention from behind its glass case. I managed to come across a fully functional system, equipped with 13.3-inch 2560 x 1440 capacitive touch IPS panel. The back of the display panel is actually covered with Gorilla Glass 3:

The Zenbook Infinity maintains ASUS' radial brushed finish, but thanks to the piece of Gorilla Glass 3 the feel is substantially improved. The combination of the metal and the glass cover results in an almost jewelry-like finish, which looks amazing in person. Photos really don't do this thing justice at all. I sincerely hope this marriage of Zenbook design and a glass finish is part of a new design direction for ASUS. If we had a best of show award, I'd totally give it to ASUS for the Zenbook Infinity.

Although it looked black at the press event, in person the Infinity actually has a blue finish to it. The keyboard and trackpad both felt great, as did the build quality of the prototype machine. The ASUS logo on the back uses the display's backlight for illumination.

The ultra high resolution panel would normally be a mixed blessing on a Windows notebook thanks to horrible DPI scaling in Windows 8 desktop mode, but I'm actually wondering if that's a problem Microsoft will address with Windows 8.1 later this year. Given the way the PC ecosystem works, I can't imagine notebook vendors and Intel putting this much effort into driving high DPI displays without proper support from Microsoft. We'll find out for certain shortly here, but I'm getting a good feeling that the solution to this problem may be close.

Internally, the Zenbook Infinity is also pretty cool. Unlike all other Haswell Ultrabooks we've seen, the ZBI is home to a 28W Haswell ULT: the Core i7-4558U. The dual-core part features Intel's Iris 5100 graphics (GT3 without Crystalwell) as well as a higher base CPU clock frequency. The result should be a very interesting combination of power efficiency and GPU performance on tap. ASUS seems to always pick the right parts to integrate into its mobile devices, and the i7-4558U is definitely an interesting one.

There's no word on when we can expect to see the Zenbook Infinity, but I'm getting the impression that many Haswell Ultrabooks are slated to arrive closer to the launch of Windows 8.1. Between the Zenbook Infinity and some of the other Haswell ULT designs I've played with at the show, I'm very excited about the state of Ultrabooks in the second half of the year.

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  • peterfares - Friday, June 07, 2013 - link

    Touchscreens don't have to be glossy. There are matte ones. ASUS chose to use a glossy one. Reply
  • kozza3 - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    http://www.amazon.com/Kuzy-Anti-Glare-Protector-Al... wow bro... wasn't that difficult to find Reply
  • tuxRoller - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    You don't have to have glossy with touchscreen. Look at some of the thinkpad tablets. Reply
  • Franck Bender - Saturday, June 08, 2013 - link

    I'm not very knowledgeable about screens, but I have a Lenovo ThinkPad x220t that a has a very good, responsive matte IPS touchscreen that's got great viewing angles (although the resolution really isn't anything to write home about).
    So my guess is that it's possible to have both a good screen and a multitouch layer, most laptops just won't have them because of the cost, because most people don't care about screen quality; and finally because the thing that's "in" right now with the marketing of displays is RESOLUTION.
    Reply
  • n13L5 - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    Hopefully they figure out how to make matte touch screens real soon!

    And hopefully the 1440p resolution is just an option, cause the IRIS GPU may do ok at 1080p for games, but 1440p will not only bog it down in games, it will stress the GPU needlessly in regular use, reducing battery life and increase heat and cooling fan noise...
    Reply
  • jetter - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    Totally agree with you....I wish Asus would provide an option for an anti-glare/matte display...even if it isn't a touch display. Glossy displays look sexy in the store but they are a b*tch on the eyes unless you work/live in a cave. I'm pick usability over sexy anytime...if the Asus Infinity offered a Matte display I'd have both...if you are listening Asus please at least provide a Matte/anti-glare option. Does anyone know if it is technically possible to have a Matte touch screen. It seems that I have seen other laptops with the matte touch displays...also others on this thread seem to indicate that they exists as well. Reply
  • Laststop311 - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    im so upgrading my ux32vd to the zenbook infinity Reply
  • neevan - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    asus have made impressive devices with sturdy build in the past with good choice of hardware, but has not made the mark as a giant in the industry.. Hope these newer devices help them get there... any word on the pricing?? Reply
  • karasaj - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    This is the one notebook that makes me consider breaking the budget I had loosely set. Its unbelievably gorgeous. Reply
  • warisz00r - Thursday, June 06, 2013 - link

    No photos of the vents? Reply

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